Michael Anthony is a New York City chef known for his exceptional vegetable cookery, which you can taste for yourself at both of his restaurants, Gramercy Tavern and Untitled. In his book V Is for Vegetables, Anthony teaches readers how to make vegetable-forward dishes at home, keeping seasonality at the forefront.
The vegetables in this dish, in particular, complement each other in a way that puts them front and center. Anthony plays on the natural sugars in the carrots, using the juice as part of the cooking liquid for the farro. The Swiss chard balances the sweetness and, thanks to a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes, adds a touch of heat. This dish is as good for you as it is easy on the eyes, so dig in.
Farro with Carrots and Swiss Chard
Recipe adapted from Michael Anthony, 'V Is for Vegetables' (Little, Brown and Company)
Yield: 3 to 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
½ small onion, minced
3 garlic cloves, 1 minced and 2 smashed, divided
1 cup farro, rinsed
¾ cup orange carrot juice
2¼ cups water, divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
4 (8 ounces) multicolored carrots—rinsed, scrubbed and thinly sliced on a bias
½ tablespoon honey
1 bunch (1 pound) Swiss chard, stems roughly chopped and reserved, center ribs removed
1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
Parsley pluches, for garnish
1. In a medium saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and minced garlic, and sweat until fragrant, 2 minutes. Add the farro and toast for 1 minute. Next add the carrot juice and 2 cups of water, and season with salt and pepper. Bring the farro to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until it's tender, 25 to 30 minutes.
2. While the farro is cooking, glaze the carrots: In a medium sauté pan, heat the butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add 1 smashed garlic clove, carrots, the remaining ¼ cup of water, and honey and bring to a simmer. Cook until the the carrots are tender but not soft, and all of the water has evaporated, 6 to 7 minutes. Reserve for later.
3. In a medium sauté pan, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the remaining smashed garlic clove and chard stems, and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Add the chard leaves and crushed red pepper flakes, and cook until the leaves are wilted, 5 minutes.
4. Reheat each pan so that the farro, carrots and Swiss chard are hot. Spoon the farro into bowls; top with the chard leaves, glazed carrots and chard stems; and garnish with parsley. Then serve.